Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Off we go again...

So, I'm sitting here in the main reading room of the National Library of Australia, waiting for a book to come up from the stacks, so that I can not embarrass myself at the IRSCL Conference I'm speaking at in Brisbane in July. I won't pretend I'm not a little nervous about this paper, for a whole pile of reasons that I'm not going to go into right at the moment, but I'm sure that when this particular book* pops out of the little hatchway things will get a lot better.

I hope.

Still, on the upside, the 20 minute wait between logging a book request and having it appear on the shelves gives me a chance to pop over here and post a long overdue blog.

Since last we spoke, I've been buried in writing stuff. I've also had the printout of The Hunter** sitting on the coffee table in my office, staring accusingly at me, and quite literally whispering "edit me... you know you want to...." into the back of my mind*** I'm really hanging out to get my red pen out and start slashing away, but am restraining myself until I'm in Perth next week, because editing is just the perfect way to fill the evenings while away from home.

On the subject of which, I'm about to head over for a couple of weeks at the Fremantle Children's Literature Centre, which is just one of my favourite places in the world to work. I'll be doing a series of their Youth Literature Days, which are always fantastic. Also talking at the WA State Librarians Conference this saturday, and doing some sessions with the lovely Coral Tulloch (who is almost wholly responsible for encouraging me to go to Antarctica a few years back) at the FCLC open day on Sunday 19th June. If you're in Fremantle, and near the centre, please do come on by and say G'Day.

Then I'm home again for a week, which will doubtless be spent bashing out the rest of the paper which has currently got me sitting at the NLA, then up to Brisbane for the IRSCL, then back for a week, then off to Noumea for a week of (Shock! Horror!) ACTUAL HOLIDAYS!

So I'm keeping busy.

In the meantime, there've been all sorts of things I've wanted to blog about, including this incredibly stupid article from the Wall Street Journal, which rests upon all sorts of broad generalisations, and provides a fantastic example of how to cherry pick a genre in order to prove your (uninformed) point, but sadly time has gotten away from me, and all sorts of other bloggers have done a nice job of unpacking the piece, in any case.

I also recently read up a whole lot about Mary E. Patchett, and specifically her 1953 book Ajax the Warrior as the foundation for a book chapter I was invited to put together. It was a fascinating little journey into one of the little known byways of Australian Literary History.

In any case, the trolley has just popped out with a whole pile of books on it including, I suspect, the one I'm waiting for, so I'm off to be a happy little researcher for the next little while.

*New World Orders in Contemporary Children's Fiction, by Bradford, Mallan and Stephens, (2008), just in case you were wondering....
** Formerly known as Orion, but I've changed the title.
*** Actually, this might not in fact be true. I've been reading a lot of Neil Gaiman lately, and I suspect it's messing with my subconscious....

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